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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Much Progress Made On MDGs But Challenges Remain, U.N.'s Final Assessment Shows

News outlets report on the U.N.’s final assessment of the Millennium Development Goals.

The Guardian: U.N.: 15-year push ends extreme poverty for a billion people
“The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have driven ‘the most successful anti-poverty movement in history’ and brought more than a billion people out of extreme penury, but their achievements have been mixed and the world remains deeply riven by inequality, the U.N.’s final report on the goals has concluded. Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. secretary general, said that while the 15-year push to meet the eight goals — on poverty, education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, disease, the environment, and global partnership — had yielded some astonishing results, it had left too many people behind…” (Jones, 7/6).

The Guardian: What have the Millennium Development Goals achieved?
“The Millennium Development Goals have targeted eight key areas — poverty, education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, disease, the environment, and global partnership. Each goal is supported by 21 specific targets and more than 60 indicators. Below, we’ve looked at what has been achieved on some of the targets within each goal…” (Galatsidas, 7/6).

New York Times: Global Poverty Drops Sharply, With China Making Big Strides, U.N. Report Says
“Dire poverty has dropped sharply, and just as many girls as boys are now enrolled in primary schools around the world. Simple measures like installing bed nets have prevented some six million deaths from malaria. But nearly one billion people still defecate in the open, endangering the health of many others…” (Sengupta, 7/6).

NPR: U.N. Report Highlights Surprising Global Progress On Poverty Goals
“…The number of people who live in extreme poverty has dropped by more than half. Many say a catalyst for this was a commitment by world leaders back in 2000. They vowed to meet an ambitious set of goals to reduce poverty by this year, 2015. NPR’s Nurith Aizenman brings us the first of a two-part report on these Millennium Development Goals, as they’re called. Today — why the goals proved so surprisingly successful…” (Siegel, 7/6).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: 800 million still hungry and poor despite progress of millennium goals: U.N.
“…But progress has been uneven across regions and countries, the U.N. said, and the new sustainable development agenda should focus on inequalities to improve the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable people. World leaders are due to adopt a set of new development objectives — known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — at a U.N. summit in September. The new goals aim to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030…” (Mis, 7/6).

U.N. News Centre: Lessons from Millennium Development Goals ‘springboard’ for future U.N. agenda — Ban
“… ‘As we reflect on the MDGs and set our sights on the next 15 years, I am confident that we can deliver on our shared responsibility to end poverty, leave no one behind, and create a world of dignity for all,’ Mr. Ban said at the launch…” (7/6).

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U.N.'s Ban Highlights Civil Society's Growing Role In Responding To Humanitarian Crises

U.N. News Centre: At Oslo forum, Ban warns capacity to meet humanitarian needs under ‘unprecedented strain’
“The capacity of the United Nations and its partners to meet humanitarian needs is under ‘unprecedented strain,’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned [Monday] at a forum in Oslo, Norway, where he highlighted the critical role civil society plays as part of the global effort to save lives, support livelihoods, and protect people from violence…” (7/6).

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Oral Vaccine, WASH Efforts Effective Tools To Control Cholera Outbreaks

Healthline News: Cholera Risk Remains High Today, but Vaccine Can Control Epidemic
“In spite of an estimated three million to five million cases of cholera each year in the world, officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) are confident this potentially deadly disease can be controlled. The fight against cholera relies upon a careful combination of two oral cholera vaccines alongside conventional control measures such as planning earlier for cholera outbreaks, teaching people about the signs of the disease, and improving public hygiene…” (Radcliffe, 7/6).

U.N. News Centre: U.N.: cholera outbreaks can be controlled thanks to vaccines, water and sanitation
“Use of oral vaccines is proving to be an effective tool to control outbreaks of cholera, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said [Monday], adding that the deadly water-borne disease is a major public health concern from Tanzania to South Sudan, and Nepal to Yemen. … The use of Oral Cholera Vaccines (OCV) must be both supported by local authorities and used hand-in-hand with focused, sustainable water and sanitation actions in targeted communities, the agency recommends in a press release…” (7/6).

VOA News: WHO: Cholera Vaccine Helps Control Deadly Disease
“…An oral cholera vaccine has been around since 1991, [and] has been given mainly to travelers, but funding from international agencies has allowed WHO officials to dip into stockpile of two million doses of the vaccine for use in high-risk places. WHO cholera expert Dominique Legros says the vaccine is proving to be an efficient tool to control outbreaks effectively, and that he expects increased production of the vaccine in coming years, with up to three million doses available for use in endemic hotspots and emergency situations…” (Schlein, 7/6).

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WHO, Humanitarian Systems Unprepared To Deal With Global Health Emergencies, Independent Review Panel Chair Says

BBC News: WHO ‘unfit for health emergencies’
“The World Health Organization (WHO) lacks the ‘capacity and culture’ to deal with global health emergencies, says the chair of a new independent report on Ebola. Dame Barbara Stocking says WHO failed in its handling of the deadly disease outbreak, which has killed more than 11,000 people, mostly in West Africa. But the ex-head of Oxfam says WHO is not solely to blame. The whole humanitarian system lacked foresight, she said. The full report, commissioned by WHO, will be published later [on Tuesday]…” (Roberts, 7/7).

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Ebola Could Continue To Flare-Up In West Africa, U.N. Envoy Says; Affected Nations Need $700M To Rebuild Health Systems

The Guardian: U.N. special envoy says Ebola flare-ups could continue for some time
“The new Ebola outbreak in Liberia last week was not unexpected, and more like it may occur, according to the U.N. special envoy on Ebola, Dr. David Nabarro. The 17-year-old whose death [last week] signaled the outbreak in Liberia may have come into contact with an infected animal or picked up the virus from a person in whom it had lingered beyond the 21-day quarantine period, experts believe…” (Boseley, 7/6).

Reuters: Ebola-stricken nations need $700 million to rebuild health care
“Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone need a further $696 million in donor funding to rebuild their battered health services over the next two years in the wake of the deadly Ebola epidemic, senior World Health Organization (WHO) officials said on Monday…” (Flynn, 7/6).

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Increasing Tobacco Taxes Can Help Curb Global Epidemic, WHO Report Says

VOA News: WHO: Raising Taxes on Tobacco Can Save Lives
“The World Health Organization is calling for governments to raise taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products. A new WHO report presents strong evidence that increasing taxes is one of the best ways to help curb the global tobacco epidemic…” (Schlein, 7/7).

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Faith-Based Groups Can Help Nations Achieve Universal Health Care, Experts Say

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Faith groups can help boost health care in developing nations: experts
“Religious groups are an under-used health resource that could help achieve universal health care and accelerate the medical response to disease outbreaks, health experts said on Tuesday [in a study published in The Lancet]…” (Mis, 7/6).

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Gay, Bisexual Nigerian Men Report Increased Reluctance To Access Health Care After Law Passed Against Same-Sex Couples, Study Shows

Reuters Health: Nigerian gay, bi men report more fear in health care after law
“Gay and bisexual men in Nigeria are reporting increased reluctance to access health care after the country passed a law last year levying additional sanctions against same-sex couples [according to a paper in The Lancet HIV by Sheree Schwartz of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and colleagues]…” (Seaman, 7/6).

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Drug-Resistant TB Threatens India's Efforts To Control Disease

Scientific American: Supercharged Tuberculosis, Made in India
“…Too few diagnostic laboratories, too many poorly trained health practitioners, and thousands of infected people living in crowded, unsanitary conditions has made India home to the world’s largest epidemic of drug-resistant TB. … Yet until recently Indian public health officials remained reluctant to admit there’s a problem…” (Overdorf, 7/6).

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Editorials and Opinions

Ending Extreme Poverty Achievable With Continued Global Commitment To Health Under SDGs

Huffington Post: For Those Who Doubted the MDGs, Trillions of Dollars and Tens of Millions of Lives Saved
Ray Chambers, U.N. special envoy for health financing

“…On July 6th, the secretary general of the United Nations released his annual report on the MDGs, providing a final assessment of progress made against targets established to halve the number of people living in extreme poverty by the end of 2015. … Like no time before in history, we stand at the cusp of ending malaria, and making even greater strides against HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. Health is a key driver of sustainable development — it must remain a priority as the world moves toward adopting an ambitious new development agenda. We owe it to the global community to make good on our promise and move with deliberate haste to rid the world of extreme poverty in our lifetime. I am confident that with our continued commitment, we will make this promise a reality and leave all preventable child and maternal deaths, along with diseases like malaria, for the history books” (7/6).

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Making Poverty History Requires Global Activism

The Guardian: Make poverty history? A decade on from Gleneagles, it is a genuine possibility
Adrian Lovett, Europe executive director at the ONE Campaign

“…A growing movement of global citizens is forming. And that movement is more authentic and representative than ever, no longer directed from Washington, New York, or London. ONE’s membership of nearly seven million people includes two million from Africa. After watching 250 ONE youth ambassadors from across Europe and beyond, who came … to southern Germany for last month’s G7 summit, I know we are in great shape for the fight ahead. These are smart, savvy, passionate advocates who know their facts. They also know that facts are nothing without activism — and activism means little unless we take it to where decisions are made, get them changed, and hold decision-makers accountable. Not so different from Make Poverty History perhaps, at its best. But — I hope — more global, more sustainable and more empowering…” (7/6).

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Developing Nations Must Undergo Tax Reforms To Finance SDGs

The Guardian: Why developing countries need to toughen up on taxes
Lilianne Ploumen, Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation

“Next week, the U.N. financing conference in Addis Ababa will make decisions that will have a profound impact on the global community over the next 15 years and beyond. Tax collection in developing countries will determine whether the Sustainable Development Goals can rival the success of the Millennium Development Goals, which expire this year. … In order to be able to finance their share of the SDGs, developing countries will have to increase tax revenue collection to about 20 percent of GDP, according to the U.N. I see three main areas for action. First, ensure fair taxation. … Second, strengthen tax inspectors. … Third, broaden the tax base. … We must redouble our efforts if we want to [end] poverty. It is possible to make the billions we provide in official development assistance spark the trillions that we need in private sector resources…” (7/7).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

UPS Helps PEPFAR Deliver Lifesaving HIV/AIDS Treatment Worldwide, Improve Women's Lives

UPS’s “Longitudes”: The Logistics of Staying Alive
Romaine Seguin, president of UPS Americas Region, discusses a public-private partnership between UPS and PEPFAR, which has helped the U.S. government deliver HIV/AIDS medications and supplies worldwide and improved the lives of women globally. “…[F]or anyone concerned about women’s advancement, solutions should start with better women’s health. Because we can’t improve a woman’s standard of living if we can’t improve a woman’s chance of living,” she writes (6/28).

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Investing In Human Resources Key To Strengthening Global Health

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: Bridging the Mind and Heart: Lessons from Guinea on the IHR
Dana Pitts, a health communicator at CDC’s Division of Global Health Protection, discusses the International Health Regulations (IHR) and the importance of investing in human resources as part of global health policy, noting, “[A] trained and prepared workforce is key to strengthening public health” (7/6).

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Health Service Delivery Organizations Should Elevate Reproductive Health Within UHC Agenda

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Delivering a new era of reproductive health services
Caitlin Mazillin, head of health financing at Marie Stopes International, discusses health service delivery within a universal health care context, and how “[s]ervice delivery organizations need to play their part to put contraception and reproductive health back up the UHC agenda on behalf of clients” (7/6).

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Partnerships, Knowledge Sharing Can Advance Contraceptive R&D

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Connecting the Dots: Advancing Contraceptive R&D through Partnerships and Knowledge Sharing
Laneta Dorflinger, director of contraceptive technology at FHI 360; Kate Rademacher, technical adviser in FHI 360’s global health, population, and nutrition group; and Lucy Wilson, monitoring and evaluation adviser for contraceptive technology innovation at FHI 360, describe the financial and regulatory barriers to advancing new contraceptive methods through the R&D pipeline, as well as the Contraceptive Technology Innovation (CTI) Exchange, a website platform for individuals to share resources and information on contraceptive R&D (7/6).

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NTD Mass Treatment Resumes In Sierra Leone Following Interruption Because Of Ebola

END in Africa: Down But Not Out: Sierra Leone’s NTD Program Restarts Activities as the Ebola Threat Subsides
“…After a year-long interruption in mass treatment [because of the Ebola epidemic], Sierra Leone’s national NTD Program and Helen Keller International (HKI), END in Africa’s sub-grantee in Sierra Leone, carefully planned and carried out many preparatory activities prior to embarking on the country’s 2015 NTD [mass drug administration (MDA)] campaign…” (6/30).

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